Posts Tagged ‘goals’

This post is about 6 weeks overdue, but I think it’s worth it…12 in 12

As the calendar flipped over to 2012, I was resolved not to resolve; no resolutions for me! I haven’t had a successful New Year’s resolution since I was about 8 years old and resolved to stop biting my nails. But then I came across a brilliant idea from Fitarella: 12 in 12. Basically, take on just one goal (or resolution, if you prefer that term) each month for the year, 12 goals in 2012. Focusing on something each day for a month is likely to make it a habit, yet you’re making your goals much more manageable by taking on just one thing at a time. At the end of each month, you can choose to continue that goal while you move on to your next monthly goal, or not. Your choice. Either way, at the end of the year you’ll have completed 12 resolutions…when was the last time you can say you did that?

I haven’t planned out my entire year’s worth of goals yet, but I did complete January (floss every day) and have begun February (clean/organize for at least 15 minutes a day). I plan to also have months where I journal every day, go completely vegan, workout every day, etc. I love the variety, the possibility, the feasability. I think ahead to my month and choose a goal that I know I can achieve, regardless of my travel schedule, holidays, etc.

How are your goals for the year coming along? Would you be more likely to succeed if you break it down into smaller segments (monthly, weekly, quarterly)?

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The wellness program at my new job is AWESOME! Yay for employers that take a proactive position in their employees’ health. This month’s challenge: track (and reduce) our sodium intake.

salt shaker

Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve gone OCD about lots of things in my diet and fitness life, from heart rate to ounces of water, carbs and fat, time of day I’m eating, and, of course, calories. But I’d never tracked sodium. This was going to be hard, because even though I rarely add salt to food, I crave salty snacks. Give me fries or chips or popcorn over ice cream any day!

Turns out, this challenge is even more enlightening than I thought. After only 10 days, my blood pressure had dropped from a normal 120/80 to 94/62! I realize lots of factors can affect blood pressure, so I probably can’t attribute it all to less sodium, but it was enough to motivate me to keep at it. I also felt like I was less…well, puffy. And it is amazing the sodium that hides out in foods, even those that you don’t think of as salty.

People do need SOME sodium for normal bodily functions, but most Western diets include many times the recommended amount. According to Mayoclinic.com, healthy adults should not exceed 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Our challenge is to keep it around 1,500 mg, which is very tough to do! I consider it a good day if I’m under 2,000.

If you’ve never paid much attention to your sodium intake before, try it out for a week. Or even a day! I think you’ll be surprised.

– albledsoe

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We’re starting the final week of January (where did it go?), and I’m wondering where everyone is as far as their goals for the year. Are you sticking with the resolutions and plans you set on January 1?

In 2010, I want to run the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, the Derby Festival miniMarathon, and compete in my first half-iron distance triathlon. I’ve been training for the running events with a group from my local running store, and yesterday sat down with my training partner Valerie to map out our schedule for the tri. Official training for that begins February 15, and I’m getting very excited!

Needless to say, every day isn’t perfect. In fact, I have a head cold now that’s making me feel very groggy, and I’ve been too busy to get in all the strength training I want. But overall, I’m keeping my goals in sight and try to just keep on keeping on. Having those events on my calendar keeps me focused and motivated.

If you haven’t done much so far in January, don’t worry. There’s still a lot of 2010 left, and plenty of time to reach any goal you set your mind to!

– albledsoe

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Remember the story of the little engine that could? I think I can, I think I can…

That mantra is not only for locomotives. Our bodies and minds work in the same way, in that with determination and mental toughness, our bodies are capable of a lot. Think you’ll never be able to run a marathon? I can pretty much guarantee you won’t. But make up your mind that you can do it, and chances are you’re going to finish.

The second episode of Biggest Loser (Season 9) is on tonight, and I thought it would be appropriate to include this quote on mental toughness from one of the contestants, Tongan cousin Koli Palu:

“As a coach, I know our bodies are amazing things,” said Koli. “That we don’t know the capablities of our bodies. I need my football team to know that you can go that extra step. This is more of a mental game, a mental toughness. As long as you push yourself, the physical part will be there.”

Ever since I ran my first (and only so far) marathon two years ago, I’ve been on the mental toughness bandwagon. I started the race injured, but managed to finish despite my body begging me to call it quits. I’ll always have that, and now it inspires me to get through any other discomforts.

And since I visited San Diego on a business trip in October, where the Navy SEALS train, that’s been reinforced. I signed up for a NAVYSEALS.com e-newsletter, where mental toughness is the ongoing theme. The message of one email was that mental toughness means five things: discipline, clear thinking under stress, calmness amidst chaos, suffering in silence, and familiarity with discomfort. Bottom line: “Quitting is not an option for the mentally tough.”

This keeps me going when I’m feeling whiny and puny and sorry for myself. There are soldiers who put their bodies through unimaginable things. There are people who survive cancer treatments or lost limbs and go on to complete an Ironman. All I did was sit in my office all day and I’m whining about a workout being too hard? Those people are in human bodies, just like me. The only thing that makes them capable of doing more is that mental toughness…they think they can. And they will not quit.

– albledsoe

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I’m on the third day of my cleanse diet. All I have to do is drink maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and water for all three meals. Um, I just bought some bikinis online, size 2. So…I’m gonna look amazing.

– Kelly Kapoor, The Office (season 5)

No matter how desperate you are to keep that New Year’s resolution to lose weight, don’t do this! I have a plan that’s just as simple but won’t leave you looking all strung out: get plenty of sleep, drink a lot water, eat whole foods with a lot of fiber, and sweat for about an hour most days of the week. Love you just the way you are, Kelly Kapoor!

– albledsoe

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Ready to Run

I am signed up and ready to train for the St. Louis half marathon in April! I was nudged in this direction (ever so gently) by my dear co-blogger, Amanda, who assured me that this would be a fun adventure, and by the encouragement from my husband to take that next step as a runner. He knew I had been tip-toeing around the idea for the last couple of months, so he treated me to some gifts on Christmas that gave me that final push I needed to take the plunge and sign up for my first real endurance event. In addition to the new gym bag I had my eye on, Seth gave me Tom Holland’s Marathon Method. The combination of Amanda’s encouragement, Seth’s support, Tom’s realistic training plan and, oh yeah – listening to my heart, I signed up for the GO! St. Louis half marathon.

I’m telling all of you not only because I want to hold myself accountable, but because I want to challenge you to consider tackling a fitness goal that might be just a bit outside of your comfort zone. You don’t know what you can really accomplish until you dream big, and push yourself harder and further than ever before.

Sure, it’s going to be 2010 in a few days, but this doesn’t have to be a resolution; it’s a goal. The beauty of a goal is that when you make one, you get to take baby steps to help you accomplish it. We all know that a woman with a plan is unstoppable! F2BT readers, if you have learned anything about me, it’s that I love having a goal. If I can plan it, I can do it. And, YOU can too!

Maybe running a half marathon or full marathon isn’t up your alley, but what else really speaks to you? What else have you dreamed of doing, but just haven’t given yourself the opportunity to try out because you are:
– too busy
– too tired
– too scared
– too lazy

I know, those last two hurt a bit. But, the truth is, these are all excuses. Everyday we make the time in our lives to do the “extra” things we want to do. Catch up on the tv shows from the day, attend a happy hour after work, etc. Shave off 30 minutes here and there, and you have an hour or two to spare before you know it. Use that time to focus on yourself, your goals and the plan you are going to use to accomplish it.

So, are you ready to run (bike, hike, swim, get fit)? I’m excited and also a little bit nervous. But most of all, I’m looking forward to trying something new and giving it my all. I am ready to run!


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Ready, Set, Goal!

Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. -John Dewey

I find a great amount of satisfaction from making a plan, sticking to it and then seeing the results. This is true for any goal I accomplish, large or small. Whether it is cooking a new recipe, finishing everything on my to-do list for the day, losing 5 pounds or finishing a race I’ve been training for, that blissful state of accomplishment is hard to beat.

Sometimes that feeling carries over for a few days. I call it the “bliss hangover.” The bigger the goal accomplished, the bigger the hangover. Then, there is a pivotal moment when you have to make a decision to jump right back in and choose a new goal so you don’t slip right back into some of the same routines you had in place pre-accomplishment.

Here are a few of the things I keep in mind when choosing a new goal:

  1. Listen to your heart. Evaluate your current situation, and commit to that thing that has been nagging at you for a while. Go with your gut on this one, deep down you know what you want to do. Are you ready to finally read that pile of books you have had on your night stand for months? Are you ready to get physically fit again? Do you want to shed 5, 10, 15 pounds once and for all? Then set a deadline and put your mind to it!
  2. Make a plan. Think of this as your map to success, you may take a wrong turn or two along the way, but as long as you have a map you can get back on track and make it to your destination. Do some investigation, talk to people who have accomplished a similar goal and get their input for success.
  3. Sign up for Fun(draising). If you are interested in trying something new, and you have a favorite charity that you would love to see have a boost in funding, dedicate the accomplishment of your goal to that cause. If it’s near and dear to your heart, you will know that with every step of your journey on the way to your goal you are helping collect funds or raise awareness for the cause of your choice.
  4. Tell everybody you know. Good old fashioned peer pressure! Another version of this tip is to team up on your goal with a buddy. You are much more likely to stick with a plan and succeed if you know someone else is going to ask you how your adventure is going. There are a ton of online communities that offer support, and tips about how to stay on track with goals of fitness and healthy living.

Stop giving yourself a free pass and start thinking about what your next goal will be.

If you’ve experienced the “bliss hangover” and ended up using it as an excuse to take a break, what did you do to get back on track?


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